Answering Your Questions About Roofing

Solving A Flat Roof Ponding Problem

by Donald Evans

Flat roofs are common in commercial buildings. And while these roofs offer better wind resistance, are easy to maintain, and are cheaper and generally more durable than sloped roofs, they are usually susceptible to ponding. This is a major source of concern since the pool of water can weigh heavily on the roof, causing it to cave. There is also the fact that collected water encourages blistering, mildew growth, and roof discoloration, and it generally accelerates the rate at which the roof deteriorates. The following are tips that will come in handy in helping you solve your ponding problem.

Cleaning your gutters

Gutters usually help to increase the efficiency with which water drains off a roof. When leaves, twigs, and dust accumulate in the gutter system, they cause blockages that then force the water back onto the roof. This increases the risk of the roof caving in, something that then worsens the ponding situation.

Scooping out any leaves and debris from your gutter system and then rinsing it with a hose will go a long way towards restoring your gutter's ability to drain water off your roof. 

Sweeping the water

To prevent roof damage, you can also choose to manually sweep the water off the roof. Start by using a wire broom to scrub any mud and accumulated debris off the area where the water has collected. After you are done, sweep the dirty water off your roof before finally rinsing by using a hose to spray the area. Make sure that you also sweep off the rinsing water.

Using an automatic electric pump

If you have a persistent ponding problem, you should consider using an automatic electric pump to drain water off the ponding area. This is a solution that usually works in cases where a sizable amount of water collects on the roof and where this happens so often that the manually sweeping water off the roof is too cumbersome.

Leveling the ponding area

Ponding on flat roofs usually occurs on depressed sections of a roof. While draining the accumulated water using a pump and manual sweeping can help to get rid of this water, these are temporary solutions. A more-permanent solution is to simply level off the depressed area. Doing this allows you to get rid of the depressed section, something that then encourages the water to roll off your roof.

To effectively do this, start by removing any loose debris using a wire broom. With the area cleaned and dried, pour the leveling compound at the center of the depressed area and let it flow outwards, fill the area, and then level it out using a wooden trowel.

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